Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.

26 New TV Shows We Can’t Wait to See in 2021

Blockbusters! Thrillers based on hit novels! Steve Martin!

best new shows 2021
Disney/Getty

TV is in a weird place. While 2020 got us through the first 9+ months of the COVID-19 era with the plethora of TV shows that had been filmed prior to the pandemic (many of which were excellent brand new series), it's clear that as 2021 gets into gear that well is beginning to dry up. Don't get us wrong—there will be TV. Around midway through last year, shows started resuming production, and there shouldn't really be any lengthy delay as far as releases go.

But what does seem a bit different in 2021 is the certainty around those releases. Television had already been trending closer and closer to the music precedent of exceedingly little lead time before a series gets a release date. Netflix usually releases a first trailer only about a month before a show actually comes out; Disney+ and HBO thankfully give a little more notice.

Still, a lot is up in the air. There are a number of shows that we think should and could be released in 2021 that sound extremely exciting—comedies from legends, star-studded thrillers/horror/mysteries, and some seriously exciting blockbuster nerd stuff from our Marvel/Star Wars overlords at Disney. But outside of a select few right now, we don't have a ton of information about when they'll actually come out.

We may not know when these shows are coming out, but we can feel pretty good about the fact that TV continues to be in good hands. Even aside from these 26 shows we've highlighted at the start of the year, there's always going to be shows that pop up and get us all to buy in. Who could've seen Ted Lasso coming last year? Or The Queen's Gambit? Hell, who saw The Tiger King becoming as unbelievably massive as it was for a few weeks? Yes, that kind of took some once-in-a-lifetime circumstances for that to happen, but, look, it's 2021. We don't know what the hell is going to happen.

But we do know we're going to have a lot more quality time with our televisions.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1 WandaVision (Disney+, 1/15)

We're almost there. After a loooong layover—the MCU's last entry to this point was Spider-Man: Far From Home, which came out way back in July 2019—WandaVision is beginning its 9-episode run on Disney+on January 15. As anyone who's seen any trailers or promotion could tell you, though, this is not going to be your typical Marvel project; the show will follow Avengers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (who died in Infinity War (???) and is played by Paul Bettany) as they journey through various forms of sitcoms.

Why is anyone's guess—but surely this genre-bending show will eventually turn toward the action and adventure we're all eventually expecting, and it could certainly set the stage for other Marvel shows to come, and upcoming movies like Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (Which Olsen will appear in).

2 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+, March 19)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was originally planned for a Spring/Summer 2020 release, but COVID had other plans; production was delayed, and eventually plans changed, and WandaVision became the first scheduled for release.

But that's behind us in 2021, as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has an official release date of March 19 set. The show will follow the events from the end of Avengers: Endgame, which saw Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) gifted with Captain America's shield. He'll be joined by the no-longer-brainwashed Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) as the two take on a a new adventure. The movie should benefit from the chemistry the two leads showed in Captain America: Civil War, and will also bring back that movie's villain: Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl).

3 Shadow and Bone (Netflix, April)

Shadow and Bone is based on a series of novels from Leigh Bardugo. It's a series that combines magic and war that could be a big hit for the streaming giant.

4 The Old Man (FX on Hulu, TBA)

Based on a 2017 novel by Thomas Perry, The Old Man is an FX on Hulu thriller that will mark the legendary Jeff Bridges' first TV series in 5 decades. The premise is simple enough—Bridges plays a former intelligence agent living off the grid who finds himself a target, and pulled back into his old life. Sweet, simple, and to the point, this could be one of the year's most fun action series. John Lithgow, The Leftovers star Amy Brenneman, and Arrested Development/Search Party standout Alia Shawkat are among others in the cast.

5 The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video, TBA)

We don't have a release date yet for The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. But the biggest draw here is that the show is entirely helmed by Barry Jenkins, the Academy Award-winning director behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. Jenkins revealed on his social media last year that filming had been completed, so a mid-late 2021 release feels likely.

6 Foundation (Apple TV+, TBA)

Jared Harris (Chernobyl) leads this Apple TV+ series that looks like Sci-Fi to satisfy fans of shows like Devs and The Expanse. Based on the novel by Isaac Asimov.

7 Midnight Mass (Netflix, TBA)
premiere of warner bros pictures' "doctor sleep"   red carpet
Matt WinkelmeyerGetty Images

Mike Flanagan has a nice winning streak going with Netflix. The writer-director has been behind both series under The Haunting banner, including The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. In 2021, he's bringing some of his favorite players back—including Kate Siegel and Rahul Kohli—for a new horror series, titled Midnight Mass. The show will, of course, stick with the horror theme, this time following a community that finds horrifying events occurring after a mysterious priest arrives in town.

Just a guess, but we think we could probably pencil this one in for a November or December release based on the title alone, right?

8 Loki (Disney+, May)

Marvel is going all-in on the TV series, and that's very clear in 2021. Following WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, MCU fans will get a six-episode limited series finding their favorite villain (the titular Loki, once again played by Tom Hiddleston) jumping through space and time following his time-travel escape in Avengers: Endgame.

Loki will also star—and stick with us on this one—a grey-haired, mustachioed, Owen Wilson. As if there wasn't already enough reason to watch.

9 Cowboy Bebop (Netflix, TBA)

It's been a long road for John Cho, who's been "Milf Guy" in the American Pie movies, Harold in Harold and Kumar, Sulu in the Star Trek movies, and the lead in the wildly underrated 2018 movie Searching. But now he's finally starring as the lead in a large-scale, big-budget project: Netlfix's live-action adaptation of the beloved animated series Cowboy Bebop. Cho plays lead character Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter who fakes his death to escape from a criminal syndicate. We don't know when the show will be released, but it should be one of the year's most exciting when it does come out.

10 Only Murders In This Building (Hulu, TBA)
only murders in this building
Hulu

There's not much known yet about Only Murders in This Building, but Steve Martin co-created the series to star in it with his longtime friend and collaborator Martin Short and also Selena Gomez. Sold!

11 Scenes From a Marriage (HBO, TBA)
afi fest 2014 presented by audi opening night gala premiere of a24's "a most violent year"   arrivals
Frazer HarrisonGetty Images

HBO's update of Ingmar Bergman's 1973 film (or series, depending on who you talk to) of the same name will be headlined by wonderful duo: Jessica Chastain and a suddenly-very-busy Oscar Isaac. The show, which will show various points of a deteriorating relationship over the course of a decade, is currently in production and should be released at some point in 2021.

12 Inventing Anna (Netflix, TBA)
inventing anna netflix anna delvey julia garner
Getty Images

Shonda Rhimes' first foray at Netflix, Bridgerton, is already a massive hit. But her next series, Inventing Anna, has the potential to be even bigger. The show will find Julia Garner (Ozark) as notorious New York City scammer Anna Delvey, who scammed her was financially and socially into some of the world's highest class institutions. Based on Jessica Pressler's story from The Cut.

13 Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu, TBA)
nine perfect strangers hulu
Hulu

Think of Nine Perfect Strangers in the same way you'd think of a lot of similar mystery series of the last few years: Big Little Lies, The Undoing, Little Fires Everywhere, etc. This one, which is also being written by Lies and Undoing's David E. Kelley (a busy man the last few years) is also based on another novel by Lies book author Liane Moriarty. The set-up is simple: nine people are at a health resort—and then things go wrong, and the mystery abounds. The very stacked cast includes Nicole Kidman (of course), along with Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Shannon, Tiffany Boone, Regina Hall, and Luke Evans (among others).

14 Dopesick (Hulu, TBA)
87th annual academy awards   red carpet
Christopher PolkGetty Images

Michael Keaton is the star and executive producer of Hulu's Dopesick, which focuses on the opioid epidemic that the United States has been struggling with for years. Keaton plays a compassionate, old-school doctor who nonetheless finds himself tied up with the dirty secrets and truths of Big Pharma. The show is based on a non-fiction book by Beth Macy and will be run by Danny Strong, who has been behind HBO's based-on-real-life movie Recount and is the creator of FOX's Empire.

15 The Dropout (Hulu, TBA)
the tonight show starring jimmy fallon   season 6
NBCGetty Images

Sticking with the based-on-a-true-story theme, The Dropout will find Saturday Night Live standout Kate McKinnon playing Theranos scammer Elizabeth Holmes in this miniseries on Hulu. This one might be a stretch for 2021 seeing as it hasn't been cast or entered production yet, but it sounds promising—so one to keep on your radar.

16 A League of Their Own (Amazon Prime Video, TBA)
a league of their own
Columbia Pictures

Broad City star Abbi Jacobson is the star and co-creator of Amazon Prime Video's upcoming TV adaptation of Penny Marshall's classic baseball film A League of Their Own, which is a great start in and of itself. D'Arcy Carden, who also appeared on Broad City and Barry in addition to a starring role on The Good Place is one of many talented co-stars for Jacobson in the series.

We don't know too much about this one just yet, but given how good Hulu's High Fidelity series was last year—uncancel it you cowards!—we've got a renewed sense of optimism around streaming networks doing TV spins on beloved movies.

17 Brand New Cherry Flavor (Netflix, TBA)
premiere of 20th century fox's "alita battle angel"   arrivals
Axelle/Bauer-GriffinGetty Images

Alita: Battle Angel star Rosa Salazar is leading Brand New Cherry Flavor, a horror/revenge thriller set in the world of the 1990 movie industry. Based on the novel of the same name, this show comes from a pair of co-creators who are behind SyFy's underrated horror series Channel Zero and also involved with the sharp writing of Showtime's Billions. An impressive cast also includes Catherine Keener and The Good Place's Manny Jacinto.

18 Pieces of Her (Netflix, TBA)
celebrities visit siriusxm   september 10, 2019
Steven FerdmanGetty Images

Another one based on a novel of the same name, the main draw of Pieces of Her is a big one: Ms. Toni Collette. After impressing over the last few years with wildly different turns in Hereditary, Knives Out, and Netflix's Unbelievable, she returns to the streaming giant to play a mother with a violent past that no one in her orbit knows about—until a trip to the mall turns violent and exposes everything.

19 Station Eleven (HBO Max, TBA)
premiere of focus features' "tully"   red carpet
Kevin WinterGetty Images

So, uh, a series about a pandemic that wipes out most of society might not be on the top of your must-watch list, but stick with us on this HBO Max original. It's (yes, another) based on Emily St. John Mandel's widely-acclaimed novel of the same name, and will be showrun by Maniac's Patrick Somerville and directed by one of the very best TV directors in the game in Hiro Murai (who has helmed some of the best episodes of recent years with his episodes of Atlanta and Barry; he frequently collaborates with Donald Glover, also directing his "This Is America" video and short film Guava Island).

Additionally, the cast will be led by Mackenzie Davis, who added "Future Holiday Classic Movie" (in Hulu's Happiest Season) to her impressive Sci-Fi resume that also included Blade Runner 2049, The Martian, and one of the best episodes of Black Mirror in "San Junipero." We can't wait to see how this one turns out.

20 Jupiter's Legacy (Netflx, TBA)
jupiter's legacy image comics
Image Comics

How about a little superhero action that's not from Marvel or DC? Even that's getting to be a little bit of a crowded field between The Boys and The Umbrella Academy, but Netflix is looking to add another big series here with Jupiter's Legacy, based on a comic by Mark Millar (who is behind the Kick-Ass comics). Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb will play superheroes who were some of the "original guard" of their kind back in the '30s, and now have children of their own who vy to live up to that legacy.

21 What If...? (Disney+, Mid 2021)
Disney

This animated MCU series has been on our radar for quite a while, and it's finally scheduled to be released this year. The show, featuring the actual voices of your favorite heroes and villains, imagines what could be if major Marvel moments went a little bit differently. Some scenarios that have been teased? A zombie Captain America, for one. All of this will be bound together and observed by a character called "The Watcher," voiced by Westworld star Jeffrey Wright.

22 Hawkeye (Disney+, Late 2021)
hawkeye disney show
Disney

Jeremy Renner will return to the role of Clint Barton/Hawkeye in this Disney+ series which will find him training a young woman named Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld!) looking to eventually take over the Hawkeye mantle. Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, The Departed) will play Kate's mother in this action series that's currently filming in New York City.

23 The Lord of the RIngs (Amazon Prime Video, TBA)
lord of the rings amazon prime
Warner Bros.

We've been hearing about Amazon Prime Video's massively-budgeted Lord of the Rings series for a few years now, and it might be nearing a mid or late 2021 release date. We don't know much, but we do know that it won't be retelling the same story of Peter Jackson's early-2000s trilogy; instead, it will tell a different epic stories from before the events of Lord of the Rings.

24 Ms. Marvel (Disney+, Late 2021)

Due late in 2021, Ms. Marvel will star newcomer Iman Vellani as a superfan of Captain Marvel who eventually becomes her apprentice of sorts; this series will explore her roots in Jersey City, New Jersey, and her aquiring and learning to use superhero shape-shifting powers. (Vellani is expected to reprise the role in the upcoming Captain Marvel 2)

25 Alien (FX, TBA)
FX

So, we don't know much about this upcoming Alien series, other than the fact that it is going to exist, and it's going to be on FX (and FX on Hulu). But one thing we can feel really good about? The show is going to be run by Noah Hawley. And as Hawley has proved with the Fargo show, he is an absolute master of taking the idea of a beloved, distinct movie from a legendary director, and turning it into something similar thematically yet still 100% it's own thing. Let's hope he can do with Ridley Scott what he's already done with The Coen Brothers.

26 The Book of Boba Fett (December 2021)
book of boba fett 2021 show
Disney

We're going to have to wait a little longer than usual for The Mandalorian Season 3, because, well, as anyone who saw that show's Season 2 finale knows, Boba Fett is finally getting his moment with The Book of Boba Fett. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the Mandalorian team are going to work on this Boba Fett spin-off series first, which will star Temuera Morrison as the legendary bounty hunter, and Ming-Na Wen as his new partner in crime, Fennec Shand. We'd imagine the show will give us insight into everything that happened before Fett's Mandalorian appearance, and probably a good bit of stuff after. Our blood is still pumping from that post-credits scene during the Mandalorian finale, so we'll be waiting with baited breath for this one.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Entertainment